Three recipients of Smith Mountain Lake Lions Club Scholarship Trust scholarships from 2016 completed academic requirements to receive their bachelor's degrees at Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia and Roanoke College this spring despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brittany Carter graduated from Virginia Tech in May with honors in food science and technology and a minor in leadership and social change.

Carter was a member of Alpha Chi Sigma professional chemistry fraternity, and was active in the Baptist collegiate ministry.

Carter worked as a research and development intern, a position that allowed her to study methods to improve aspects of foods, such as chemical composition, flavor, color, texture, nutritional value and convenience.

Also, she worked to develop new or improved was of preserving, processing, packaging, storing and delivering foods. She was able to use her knowledge in chemistry, microbiology and other sciences.

Alexus (McBride) Keyser spent the summer of 2019 in Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unity (NICU) through the adopt a student a student nurse program.

She confirmed her commitment to the NICU and critical care, and applied to work in both the NICU and PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) at Virginia during her senior year.

She particularly enjoyed her last year of nursing school because achieved the dream she had as an FCHS senior to give back to others through nursing.

Keyser received her degree in May.

Sonny Williams graduated from Roanoke with a degree in physics.

One of his favorite classes was his physics seminar class because the seniors presented class material as semi-professionals.

As a college graduate, Williams said he looks forward to fulfilling a goal he has pursued since his freshman year of high school: doing a prosthetic design.

Williams said he wants to develop inexpensive and effective prosthetics for anyone who needs them.

Williams said he valued Roanoke for its "close-knit, community feel.''  He said bigger schools like Virginia Tech and Virginia "have great programs in the sciences,'' but he wanted to be in a small, close-up environment. He said he knew all of his professors "really well'' and their dogs too.

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